How to Save Someone From Drowning | The Art of Manliness

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The Identifiable Victim. People will do more to save a single, identifiable individual than they will do to save a group, especially when they have a picture of that person.

Blue's runner up to the 2001 award was Patty, a yellow lab retreiver who saved her owner from drowning while on a winter duck hunting excursion. After Ray Fogg's boat capsized and dumped the two into frigid North Atlantic waters, Patty allowed him to grab hold of her tail while she vigorously doggy-paddled against the powerful current. They made it all the way to the nearest land, where they were rescued by game wardens later on that evening.

Is Ginny a traitor to canine's everywhere, or an undisputed hero? The 300 cats who attended her memorial service would probably say the latter, paying homage to a dog who endangered herself on multiple occasions to save dying or stranded cats from peril. On one particularly remarkable occasion, Ginny threw herself against a vertical pipe at a construction site so that it would topple and the stranded cats inside could escape. Another time, Ginny suffered severe cuts on her paws to find an injured cat inside a box of broken glass.

The action or inaction of these people cannot make it right for us to let children drown when we could easily save them.

What if we change Singer's example to fit a more nuanced model of the world in response? In the pond are several drowning adults and children with a few rescue workers but not enough. Above are a few hundred children and adults on a bridge, pushing each-other in a game of "king of the hill". Every few minutes someone falls off and starts drowning.
Are we obliged to rescue the drowning children? For how long? Singer seems to feel like it's totally acceptable to intervene in the most effective way you can. What if:
You go up to the bridge to try to stop the game of king of the hill, and discover that one of the rules of their game is 'only 20 people may drown per day'. Also, they tell you, the king of the hill may change some rules, such as drowning per day limit.
Now saving the drowning seems like a fools errand. What about interceding forcefully to attempt to stop the game of "king of the hill"? If you join in the game to try to win and make it's rules kinder will you be contributing to the problem? What if the children who are getting pushed off the bridge are willing participants? What if it's a game you can't win?

First Aid checking unconscious victim Dr Essay - MajorTests

I think there is genuine space to argue against this interpretation of impartiality. The idea that we must view helping an anonymous stranger as morally identical to someone we are deeply involved with is not one I accept as clear. Impartiality can still take situation into context, to turn Singer's own subtle invocation of children against him, I think many of us would agree that it is better to alleviate the suffering of a child than the slightly greater suffering of an adult. Most of us would also say that a person who let their own child drown in order to save two adults they don't know was not acting morally.

First Aid checking unconscious victim Dr Essay

“Most of us are absolutely certain that we wouldn’t hesitate to save a drowning child, and that we would do so at considerable cost to ourselves.

"Someone who jumps into a river to save a drowning man will become a hero. And heroes accrue all sorts of benefits. For example, they may become more attractive to women," he adds.

Near Drowning Victim Meets With Police Officer Who …

Recently, I spoke to Markus Thalmann, the cardiac surgeon on the team that saved the little Austrian girl who had drowned, and learned that a checklist had been crucial to her survival. Thalmann had worked for six years at the city hospital in Klagenfurt, the small provincial capital in south Austria where the girl was resuscitated. She was not the first person whom he and his colleagues had tried to revive from cardiac arrest after hypothermia and suffocation. They received between three and five such patients a year, he estimated, mostly avalanche victims (Klagenfurt is surrounded by the Alps), some of them drowning victims, and a few of them people attempting suicide by taking a drug overdose and then wandering out into the snowy forests to fall unconscious.


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The difficulties of life support are considerable. Reviving a drowning victim, for example, is rarely as easy as it looks on television, where a few chest compressions and some mouth-to-mouth resuscitation always seem to bring someone with waterlogged lungs and a stilled heart coughing and sputtering back to life. Consider a case report in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery of a three-year-old girl who fell into an icy fishpond in a small Austrian town in the Alps. She was lost beneath the surface for thirty minutes before her parents found her on the pond bottom and pulled her up. Following instructions from an emergency physician on the phone, they began cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A rescue team arrived eight minutes later. The girl had a body temperature of sixty-six degrees, and no pulse. Her pupils were dilated and did not react to light, indicating that her brain was no longer working.